It’s Talladega week, which means pretty much every driver in the field is on the table to pick in DraftKings this weekend. These races are incredibly unpredictable and it’s usually quite fun to build lineups, but also frustrating when your lineups get taken out with a single wreck. What I normally do with these races is just roll with my lineups and enjoy the race, expecting to lose. If you build your lineups with a good strategy in mind, then you’re just hoping for luck on race day. Now let’s get to the strategy for Sunday!!!!
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Also, be sure to check out the Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order for this race by clicking here!
Speed Report & Loop Data Driver Averages
There’s really not much point to look at much data this weekend, because it’s really more about the strategy you take with building a lineup and starting position, and then getting lucky, but because I know some people like to look at numbers, I’ve included a chart below with superspeedway track data for this season. I will note that one interesting number to look at is percent of laps inside the top 15 (explanation as to why in this week’s YouTube video).
Also included is the history of ownerships on DraftKings in the first three superspeedway races this season.
- ARP = average running position
- DR = driver rating
- FL = fastest laps (total)
- LL = laps led (total)
- T15 = laps ran inside top 15 (total)
- Total Laps = laps completed (total)
2021 Driver Averages At Superspeedways
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||3||24.7||16.3||73.5||11||0||261||548||47.63%|
|Martin Truex Jr||3||28.7||18.5||70.7||31||13||232||545||42.57%|
2021 Superspeedway Ownership Averages
|Avg. Ownership||Driver||Daytona-2 Own||Talladega-1 Own||Daytona 500 Own|
|18.62%||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||10.47%||27.90%||17.48%|
|17.25%||Martin Truex Jr||7.32%||10.08%||34.36%|
DraftKings Strategy for Talladega
- Looking up statistics really doesn’t matter this week. Landing on a good lineup is all about starting position and then getting lucky on race day with all six of your drivers finishing well. Seriously, my rule at Talladega and Daytona are always the same: it doesn’t matter who you pick, it matters the strategy with which you pick them.
- Make sure you check out the breakdown video this week (linked below). I go pretty in-depth when it comes to strategy.
- This is the type of build I’m looking to go with for tournament builds:
- 1 to 2 drivers starting from 7th to mid-teens (avoiding the top 5 entirely)
- 2 to 4 drivers starting mid-teens to high-20s
- 1 to 2 drivers starting in the 30s, maybe 3 drivers
- It’s worth looking into previous ownerships in superspeedway races to get an idea of where the chalk is going to be. You can adjust for other factors, such as recent performance, what industry talking heads are saying, and obviously starting position and salary.
Driver-by-Driver Breakdown Video
Now for the video breakdown! Be sure to go here and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already.
Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections
The optimal DraftKings lineup for Talladega on Sunday according to my Projections is:
- Denny Hamlin
- Justin Haley
- Joey Logano
- Kevin Harvick
- Ryan Preece
- Bubba Wallace
Confidence Rating = ???/10. I wouldn’t roll with Denny Hamlin in a lineup. He’s going to project well because he’s so good at these tracks and should lead significant laps. With this lineup, I’d switch out Hamlin for someone starting in the mid-teens to mid-20s, and maybe do the same with one or both of Logano/Harvick.
GPP / Tournament Picks
Cole Custer ($6,800) – Cole Custer has had a truly awful season, but don’t let that persuade you from picking him at Talladega on Sunday. Unfortunately, public opinion does weigh into ownership, so Custer’s struggles should keep his ownership lower this weekend even though he’s starting back in 28th. So just to break this down: you’re going heavier on a Stewart-Haas Racing Ford starting in 28th that is likely to come in at mid-teens ownership in DraftKings. I love that leverage play. Custer has been a top 7 DraftKings scorer in two of the three superspeedway races this season.
Anthony Alfredo ($5,700) – Fast Pasta Boi doesn’t get much love on superspeedways and I really can’t explain why. On Sunday, I’ll be shocked if Alfredo is above 15-20% ownership, and it’s likely he’ll come in at below that despite starting back in 30th. Pasta brought this #38 Ford home in 6th the last time we were here at Talladega and was competitive in the second Daytona race this season after finally getting back on the lead lap. He got caught up in one of the late wrecks. Once again, I’ll likely be super overweight on Anthony Alfredo and his Front Row Motorsports Ford on Sunday.
The Shitboxes ($4,500 – $5,500) – Every time we go to a superspeedway race, we see the shitboxes–guys like Houff, Bilicki, McLeod, Gase, Ware, Smithley, and Starr–go severely under-owned. The highest we’ve seen is Timmy Hill at just over 8% ownership in the first Talladega race, but most of these guys hover around the 3-5% range. That shouldn’t be the case. Yeah, it’ll take a really crazy race for a shitbox or two to make it into the optimal lineup on Sunday, but there’s a higher chance than 5% of that happening. These guys are the safest options in the field when it comes to the potential of ruining a lineup, and are great pivots off of the low starter chalk on Sunday. All it takes is one big wreck and someone like BJ McLeod suriving to put up a massive DraftKings score…
Stacking Dennys Podcast with Jordan & Brandon Cruz
Cash Core Drivers
Justin Haley ($9,400) – Justin Haley is a very strong superspeedway racer and is in the #16 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing this weekend. That’s the same car that Kaz Grala finished 6th with here at Talladega in the spring while also contending (and leading) at Daytona this year. The cherry on top is that Haley will start from back in 38th on Sunday, which makes him a very safe DFS play with huge upside potential. Beware, though: he’s also going to probably be the highest-owned driver on the slate.
Landon Cassill ($7,200) – The absolute safest DraftKings play in the field this weekend is Landon Cassill, who starts dead last. It is impossible for him to score negative FPTS on Sunday, and obviously his ceiling is really high with all of the place differential potential. And the best part? It’s not like he’s going to be driving a junker car; this #96 Toyota has respectable speed and Harrison Burton came home 20th with it here at Talladega in the spring.
Ryan Preece ($6,700) – Ryan Preece has actually been a pretty dependable superspeedway racer during his Cup Series career, and he’s shown strenght this season on these big tracks, as he has the 12th-best average running position over the three races at Daytona/Talladega. Here at Dega specifically, Preece has never finished worse than 18th in five career starts and even has a couple of top 10 finishes to his name. He’ll start from back in 27th on Sunday so is a relatively safe pick with great upside.
YellaWood 500 at Talladega DraftKings Driver Projections
The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from six different ranking systems. Also factored in are projected laps led and fastest laps for each driver. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.
|Driver||DraftKings Salary||Avg Proj FPTS||Proj Ownership||Starting Position||Ceiling Proj FPTS||Avg. Projected Finish||Dollar Per FPT|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||$6,000||33.63||15.12%||21||62.80||15.0||$178|
|Martin Truex Jr||$7,600||23.95||8.14%||6||52.20||14.5||$317|